ABERDEEN, North Carolina (WTVD) --A Moore County detective is being hailed as a hero after a local child exploitation arrest led to the international rescue of the young girl featured in the pornographic images.
It all started back in October when Jacob Johnson of Aberdeen was arrested and charged with 10 counts of child exploitation. Computer forensic expert Sergeant Eric Galloway went through Johnson's computer in search of evidence in that case and found photos and videos of a Canadian suspect molesting a 1-year-old girl.
Investigators were able to trace the child porn to an address in Canada. On January 19, the sheriff's office got word that Canadian authorities rescued the young girl and arrested the suspect. But it was time in between Johnson's arrest and the rescue that Sergeant Galloway said caused him to lose sleep.
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"There was a need for a series of court orders, legal paperwork, just to try to identify the person on the other end. So it was difficult to sleep because I know that even though I'm waiting on a response for a court order somewhere out there potentially is a child there being abused and all I could do is wait," he explained.
Galloway's expertise was made possible through a $20,000 state grant dedicated to educating and providing law enforcement with computer forensic tools.
But if you ask Galloway if he felt like a hero, he'll tell you that he was just doing his job, one that Sheriff Neil Godfrey says the agency couldn't survive without
"His persistence in following through with that saved this little girl from a destructive lifestyle," said Sheriff Godfrey.
Jacob Johnson made his first court appearance Monday where a judge set his bond at $25,000.
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